Now What?

You’ve just closed a show. You’re sad, you’re tired, and you’re bored out of your mind. You’ve gone from practically living in the theater to an abundance of free time. So how do you fill it?

Well, if you know what your next show is, start researching it and planning your audition material! Start making a decision on your top choice roles, find a song and/or a monologue or two to audition with, and think about characterization decisions you’ll make if you’re asked to read for a specific role.

See shows!! Support other community/school theatres.  Return the favor to all the friends that came to support you. You spent your time bringing joy, laugher, and tears to the eyes of your audience, so settle in and enjoy someone else doing all the work while you relax and take in a show.

Get ahead on projects for school or work that will get pushed right back onto the backburner as soon as you start your next show. Right that big paper, get that stack of paperwork off your desk, or just get more organized.

Hang out with your friends! Chances are they’ve heard the phrase, “I can’t, I have rehearsal,” more times than either of you can count; so take advantage of the extra time while you still have it.

Read. If you have a TBR pile like mine, you probably have books falling off your shelves… maybe you can knock a few off before your next show.

Take some time to relax. Shows are taxing physically and mentally, some take a heavier toll than others. It’s important to give yourself at least a couple days to decompress before you throw yourself into the next project. Take a bath, light your favorite candle, snuggle your pet, do whatever makes your heart feel cozy.

What is your favorite way to combat the post-show blues?

Until next time,

Break a leg,
-Brandi
find me on social media,
twitter: @bwaybrandi
Instagram: @sugarbutterbrandi
snapchat: broadwaybrandi
email: brandinyc525600@gmail.com

 

Junie B. Jones Children’s Theatre

Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve made a post. It seems like there was a lull of theatre related content in my life and all of the sudden so much has happened. I currently have four drafts of posts to write, here’s my first post in what will likely be a rapid fire sequence of posts.

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Recently I grabbed a friend and headed to a children’s theatre production of the stage adaptation of Junie B. Jones. Many people around my age grew up reading these books, so for us, it was a trip down memory lane and a chance to support some of my favorite little performers.

 

The show was super cute and featured some very talented young performers. If you’re a fan of theatre I highly encourage you to support your local school and community theatres… Yes, they may be less impressive and lower budget productions than professional tours of shows, but every professional actor catches the acting bug somewhere smaller. And you never know, you may come out with a new perspective on community theatre. Many small theatres have extremely talented performers, all of whom are undeniably dedicated to their craft, after all they’re clearly not doing it for a paycheck; they’re doing it because it’s what they love.

Another great thing about community theatre is that often, more risks are taken in regards to how something is performed. Community theatre groups aren’t as bound to the type of performance that is expected of professional theatre companies. They are more likely to adapt a production to fit their group, whether that means gender bending a role, performing a certain number in a different key than what it typically is, breaking the standard mold of what a character is ‘supposed’ to look like, changing the general style/vibe of a show, or really anything else… the sky is the limit. Sometimes community theatre groups change things because they have a unique vision, and sometimes they have to, they may not have enough of a budget to do things the way they were initially intended, they might not have the right actor for it, or an unending number of other complications.

The point is, get out and see productions in communities around you, after all supporting the arts starts with you. See anything and everything you can, musicals, straight plays, operas, children’s shows, teen shows, adult shows, and everything in-between. Each production you see will give you another reason to fall in love with live performance all over again.

Break a leg,
-Brandi
find me on social media,
twitter: @bwaybrandi
Instagram: @sugarbutterbrandi
snapchat: broadwaybrandi
email: brandinyc525600@gmail.com

 

I Have a Theory…

I have a theory… theatre produces teachers. I have had this theory for quite some time and the more shows I see and work on, the more teachers I see onstage and listed in the playbill. I don’t think this is coincidental; in fact, it makes perfect sense to me.

In the most recent show I’ve seen (which was Sophie’s Light, as you may know if you’ve read my last post) I grabbed the playbill to count out for you how many teachers were in that show specifically. After reading the bios of 17 performers, I found that 5 were teachers or retired teachers, 1 was a principal, 1 was a coach, and 1 was a high school director. I should also note that 6 did not have a career listed, so it’s possible there were even more involved in schools. Even without the potential additional teachers, that means that about 30% of this cast were/are teachers and about 47% are professionally involved with schools in some way.

On a personal level, I’ve been involved with theatre since I was about 6 years old, and I am currently heading into my sophomore year of college in, you guessed it, the education program. Not only that but I’ve worked on shows with countless other teens who have already decided that teaching is where their heart lies. I’ve noticed that teaching always seems to outweigh any other profession in the bios of community theatre performers and I think that as I make the transition into working with adult companies that I will connect with many other teachers and soon-to-be teachers through the shows I do.

Why did I say that this makes perfect sense? Well, think about it; what are some of the skills or qualities every good teacher has? Great teachers are empathetic. The best performers truly feel the situations their characters are in; that allows them to give the most honest performance possible and is often why audience members are able to feel such a connection to those characters. Great teachers are creative. Performers by nature are artists, they construct people and worlds out of nothing. Great teachers are adaptable, they are able to tailor their lessons to work for all different kinds of students and change their entire plan when something puts off their lesson or they finish early. Performers have to be adaptable, they must constantly be evolving the way they portray a character to fit who they feel the character is and what the director wants from them. They also have to be able to improv well when things go wrong mid show. Great teachers are passionate. What artist is not passionate? Performers give their entire selves over to a character when they have been cast in a show, for the run of the production they lose themselves in becoming someone else. Beyond that performers and teachers alike often give of their own time and supplies to enhance their show or classroom. I can’t tell you how many performers I’ve seen, myself included, give up an afternoon to work on a set or run out to buy a costume piece or some makeup whether it be for themselves or a castmate. And, almost every teacher I have ever met has used their own money to provide items for their classroom. Great teachers are caring, they spend their days enhancing their students minds and getting to know their personalities. They go home with those kids on their hearts, hoping each one is fed, warm, loved, and reminded just how special they are. Performers are almost always willing to help out their castmates, whether that means bringing someone with a sore throat some tea and honey, staying late to run lines, or being a shoulder to cry on after a particularly stressful tech rehearsal.

For these and many other reasons, being a performer and a teacher seems like a match made in heaven. If you are a teacher/performer and you agree with me (or if you don’t) please share your experience with me in the comments!!

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Break a leg,
-Brandi

find me on social media,
twitter: @bwaybrandi
Instagram: @sugarbutterbrandi
snapchat: broadwaybrandi
email: brandinyc525600@gmail.com

Sadie’s Light

Earlier tonight (or I guess more accurately last night, since I’m starting this post at about 4 am…) I had the honor of seeing a brand new musical that opened in a community theater very close to my little hometown. This show was called Sophie’s Light and it was absolutely INCREDIBLE.

It was such an indescribable experience to be sitting in the audience and have the realization that someday, if this show takes off (and I truly hope it does, because everyone who was/is involved in this show is absolutely brilliant) I’ll be able to say I saw the earliest production.

Now normally I like to be well versed in a show before I go see it. I usually know all the songs and have a pretty good idea of what the overall plot of the show is before I take my place in the audience. I have to say though, it was pretty refreshing to walk into the show knowing nothing more than the snippets of advertising I’d seen. I fell in love with a new score and there was something magical about hearing it for the first time live. My only complaint is that because it’s so new I couldn’t come home and pull it up on Spotify to listen to again, because if I could have– I would have.

Now I’d like to take a moment to brag about the cast, because wow do they deserve it. You could tell that every person involved with this show was so proud of what they were doing (and rightfully so), each and every one of them put their heart and soul into this production and it was pure magic as a result. As I said, EVERYONE had a fabulous performance but I’d like to take a moment to give a special shout out to Pamela Shirtz, the amazing actress who brought the character Sadie to life. Now, if you are a die hard theatre kid like myself, you will probably find yourself mentally hunting for which role you’d want to play each time you see a show; after her very first song I was confident I’d already found that role in this show. As the show continued, I became more and more confident about this. It was not only the role itself but the way Pamela played her that had me instantly drawn to her.

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Pamela brought Sadie to life in such an honest and relatable way. I felt sympathy for Sadie throughout the show and found myself relating on some level to some of her struggles; and not only that but from the moment she stepped onto the stage I was rooting for her. I was emotionally invested in her becoming more confident in herself and realizing just how talented she was the same way I want those things for my closest friends.

I’d absolutely love to play Sadie someday and I hope this show gets produced time and time again because it is truly a gem. And Pamela, if you’re reading this thank you for the inspiration, you truly shine onstage and were so kind after the show. I hope to see you in more productions in the future and I’d be honored if you ever managed to see one of mine.

Break a leg,
-Brandi
find me on social media,
twitter: @bwaybrandi
Instagram: @sugarbutterbrandi
snapchat: broadwaybrandi
email: brandinyc525600@gmail.com